I have recently been hired in a nursery. I do not have much knowledge in plant care, but I've gardened for years as it has come naturally for me. Unfortunately, I work with only one other girl who is 18 and has never had her hands dirty nor does she care to do so. I have been left in charge to do all the watering (by hand) and care for the plants but am not sure where to start. There are many plants I have no knowledge about and do not want to turn customers away because I cannot help. I bring my Readers Digest Illistrated Guide to Gardening book to work daily and look up what I need to to assist my customers. . . does anyone have suggestions of quick reference guides I can buy, or books that would help me in these situations? My very first concern though is the health of my plants. I need to find a hand-watering information site or guide or just someone to help me figure out how often I should be watering and signs that I am over or under watering. I currently am watering my plants at 8:00 am. When I finally finish all of them, it is around 2:00 pm. I've been told I have to start rewatering them at that point but in my opinion only some need the water again. Also, which plants should not be getting water on their leaves? I appreciate anyone's advice or help. I just can't stand by and watch these plants die nor will I walk away from the situation they have been put in. They need help and so do I.
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
You are right to be concerned about watering the plants again later in the afternoon. If the soil is still moist, then I would forgo the watering as this can only lead to fungal issues later. Weather conditions determine when to water garden plants as well. If it is hot and dry, for example, you’ll have to water more often. Also, if you water in the late afternoon, you need to make sure that the leaves have time to dry before night. Wet or damp leaves at night can also encourage fungal problems.
As for the signs of over or underwatering, these articles should help:
You could also use this site as a handy reference at home if you have any questions about a particular plant or problem.